Tapeworms are flat like a ribbon, and made up of segments called proglottids. The proglottids contain the tapeworm eggs. As the tapeworm grows, the proglottids eventually break off and exit via the anus. These off-white segments can range from approximately 5 milimeters (one quarter of an inch) when moist and moving, to as small as a sesame seed after they have dessicated a few hours later.
Unlike other intestinal worms (please see parasites) that are killed with an oral wormer medication and passed out with the stool, tapeworms require a different medication. This medication is called praziquantel, and has only recently been available without prescription. Please consult with your veterinarian for more information. This drug is available as a pill or as an injection for pets. The tapeworm dies and is not usually seen in the stool after the deworming.
Most veterinarians will dispense this medication to current patients (seen within the last 12 months). Your veterinarian may want to see your pet for an accurate weight, as this medication is dosed according to weight.
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